The Haitian Diaspora sends approximately 2 billion dollars in remittances home to Haiti each year. This massive support from those who have left the country is what sustains the economy and permits families to go on with their lives despite the lack of jobs and opportunities.
In addition to sending remittances, the diaspora can also consider funding a Sovereign Wealth Fund for Haiti which can be used to achieve certain national objectives such as the financing of a public education system, the building of a sanitation system, or the establishment of clean water and electricity throughout the country. A similar fund has recently been initiated for Nigeria, allowing it so save its revenues from crude oil production for future generations.
After the earthquake of January 12, 2010, Haiti received pledges totaling 10 billion dollars from UN members willing to invest in its recovery. 10% of this pledge (1 billion dollars) can be set aside to establish the Sovereign Wealth Fund. Additional funds can be added by diaspora members willing to pledge a minimum of 365 dollars a year to sustain the Fund.
The Haitian Diaspora is estimated to be about 4 million people. Even if only 25% (1 million people) of the Diaspora could be persuaded to support the Sovereign Wealth Fund, they would be able to generate 365 million dollars a year. This amount is equivalent to the Haitian national budget which during the Aristide years was estimated to be anywhere between 300 to 500 million dollars anually- about the same as the budget of the city of Cambridge, Massachussetts. (After the earthquake of 2010, this annual budget increased significantly to nearly 3 billion dollars.*)
Another source of funding for the Sovereign Wealth Fund could come from taxing the 2 billion dollars in remittances sent to Haiti by the Diaspora. Although this money sustains the Haitian economy, it has never been leveraged in a manner to lift the country out of poverty. A 10% tax on the 2 billion dollars sent to Haiti by the diaspora would contribute 200 million dollars of annual revenue.
This Sovereign Fund could provide Haiti with the money it needs to finance its development. Even a lesser tax of 7% would yield 140 million dollars annually, enough money to provide each one of Haiti's 140 communes with a tax base of 1 million dollars with which to finance education, health care, and a basic infrastructure of clean water, sanitation, and electricity.
*Haiti's budget for the fiscal year 2012-2013 increased to an astonishing 3 billion dollars, an amount which was 33% of the country's 9 billion dollars GDP. A large percentage of this budget (more than 50%) came from borrowing from the international community. The amount of revenue from taxes was approximately one billion dollars.